Windows Server 2003 End Of Life Rapidly Approaches
Most IT administrators are probably already aware that Windows Server 2003 end of life will occur in July 2015. However, there are still many customers who run Windows Server 2003 in production today and many will continue to do so until end-of life of Windows Server 2003 or close to that date for various reasons. In fact, there are still nearly a million servers across the globe currently running live applications on Windows Server 2003. It should be cause for alarm that so many businesses are still reliant upon an operating system originally released almost 10 years ago (December, 2005 for Windows 2003 R2). More concerning is that many of these W2k3 servers are running applications originally developed for a 32-bit operating system.
This all comes down to the simple matter of maintenance. If you’re still running Windows Server 2003, it’s highly probable that you haven’t been proactive with maintenance, patching, upgrades, etc. The problem with a last minute migration approach is when the server/version upgrade results in problems, errors or inconsistencies with security, stability or functional issues with your applications that require immediate remediation, and most often programmatic revisions. Needless to say, waiting until the last minute to perform your Windows 2003 server migration is a risky proposition.
Being the market leader has its downside, and because of its massive installed base of server operating systems, Microsoft often finds its products held to a higher standard than competitive products. With Windows accounting for 73% of server operating systems installed on servers at the end of 2014, it is clear that any action affecting a Microsoft product will affect a wide swath of customers. Ultimately, customers that have delayed updating and modernizing their Windows Server 2003 installations are facing a harsh reality: The end of extended support, which is coming alarmingly fast, will be on July 14, 2015.
For those organizations willing to handle a migration from Server 2003 to Server 2012 themselves, go to this page provided by Microsoft.